Aukai Kea struck out 15 while throwing a complete game as Hawaii went ahead on a pinch-hit single by John De la Cruz and defeated Georgia 3-0 on Saturday to advance to the Little League World Series championship.
De la Cruz's hit broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning. Hawaii added the game's final two runs in the fifth, on an RBI triple from Bruce Boucher, followed by Jace Souza's run-scoring single.
Eight days after striking out 10 Georgia batters in 6 1/3 shutout innings, Kea struck out the side in three of the first four innings Saturday, and a batter in all six.
Hawaii, the U.S. champion, will play South Korea on Sunday after the Asia-Pacific regional champs defeated Japan 2-1 earlier in the day. Over two games at the double-elimination tournament, Georgia played 17 innings against Hawaii but was held scoreless. Much of that was due to Kea, who also hit a walk-off, two-run homer to end the teams' 11-inning game last week.
Choi Ji-hyung blasted his third home run of the Little League World Series, then struck out seven over 4 2/3 innings Saturday, giving South Korea a spot in the tournament championship with a 2-1 win over Japan.
With two outs and nobody on in the first inning, Choi's homer went into the fans sitting beyond the left-field fence. He raised his right index finger in the air as he rounded first and high-fived his third base coach with both hands on his way home.